I’ve just spent a year in Russia as part of my MA in International Relations as a mature student, but I’ve done loads of stuff before that including being an admin assistant, warehouse worker and a lot more.
I’ve been involved in antifascist work, but currently I’m a cynical ex trot and ‘politically homeless’. I’m interested in politics and society in Russia and Eastern Europe but I’m also interested in writing about issues affecting the UK especially around migration, LGBT+ issues and racism.
I’m a big Wycombe Wanderers fan, I love travelling and enjoy writing fiction, some of my work can be seen on Wattpad.
I’m very excited about writing for this site and think this is a fantastic project.
Maggie Chapman was born and brought up in the sunshine in Zimbabwe. Her musician Dad and housewife Mum encouraged her to spread her wings and explore the unknown. So she came to Scotland in 1998.
She studied zoology and environmental management, her fieldwork taking her all over Scotland. However, she became frustrated that most humans were not viewed as legitimate parts of many environments. And so she moved into the critical social sciences and spent nearly 9 years lecturing in human geography and environmental philosophy at Edinburgh Napier University.
At the same time, Maggie was elected to Edinburgh City Council as one of Scotland’s first Green councillors. She served the people of Leith Walk ward for 8 years during which time she pioneered participatory budgeting and including people in decision-making. She was the first Scottish politician to call for the payment of the Living Wage, and has been an active anti-austerity campaigner.
Elected as female co-convener of the Scottish Greens in 2013, Maggie played a key role in widening the Party’s appeal through her work in Green Yes and the Radical Independence Campaign. She stood as lead candidate in the 2014 European Elections, and was top of the North East regional list for the 2016 Holyrood Elections. She argued for the devolution of employment law and abortion legislation as a member of the Smith Commission.
A passionate believer in and activist for equality, Maggie now works to promote inclusion and awareness of people with vision impairments, heading up the work of SCOVI, the umbrella body for vision impairment in Scotland. As Rector of the University of Aberdeen, she also works to improve understanding of intersectionality, supporting trans-inclusion in feminism and mentoring women and young people.
Maggie inherited her father’s love of and talent for music and she plays a wide range of instruments. She can often be found with her fiddle, a pint of Guinness and a dram in the Hebrides Bar on a Monday evening. When not politicking, making music or drinking whisky, she loves spending time in the hills. And she is chief slave to two rather beautiful ginger cats!
Erin is a 21 year old politics student from Glasgow.
Erin has been engaged in feminist politics for a number of years through participation with Rape Crisis’ young activists group “STAMP” which aims to tackle gender stereotypes.
She volunteers as a support worker for survivors of sexual abuse, and was shortlisted for a Write to End Violence Against Women Award for ‘Best Blog’ from Zero Tolerance Scotland.
Erin has her own blog where she covers issues ranging from politics to football. With these two interests in mind, she has written for a variety of sources including the Scottish Socialist Voice, Period Poverty Scotland and 90 Minute Cynic.
Erin has also commenced an ongoing campaign to make sanitary products free at Celtic Park, in the hope that other teams will follow suit. She hopes to cover the politics of menstruation for her honours dissertation later this year.
Nelly has been a teacher for over twenty years, working in a variety of settings across Primary, Secondary and Higher Education. She is passionate about education for all, with a specific interest in SEN.
Hailing from Liverpool, in the shadow of Aintree Racecourse, she is proud of her socialist roots. One of her favourite memories consists of her Nan, wearing Spitting Image slippers of Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock, staging a mock fight between the two to entertain her gang of grandchildren (Thatcher always came off worst). Socialism is in her blood and she is proud to have passed on the lefty, ranty genes to her two children.
Laura Lundahl holds an American passport, but her heart belongs with the UK and Europe. She has a master’s degree from King’s College London in European politics, and hopes to return to the country she loves once the Tories and their immigration policies have gone.
The stereotypical youth voter in 2008, Laura nearly had to drop out of university because she was so involved with the Obama campaign. She has since managed campaigns against the immoral American healthcare system, as well as against the Capitalist greed that forces American university students to take on impossible amounts of debt. Most recently, she has focused her energy on immigrant rights on both sides of the Atlantic following several very personal experiences with the consequences of strict immigration policies.
Laura also believes in the importance of travel, having been to all fifty American states and nearly forty countries before the age of 30. She has also lived in four states, and four countries, and speaks three languages (one of which is a West African language). Her favorite place she has lived is London, as the diversity of that city allows a person to travel the world without leaving their street. Though rural Alaska is a close second – the mountains are stunning.
In her downtime, Laura is always on the lookout for a pub quiz or a new hiking spot, and she’d like to say a good read from her local library but as the Millennial she is, the phone screen tends to be too much of a distraction. Her guilty pleasures are “The Bachelor” and Taco Bell, or when she is in the UK, “First Dates” and Greggs.
Mhairi has been a councillor in Glasgow since 2012, representing Southside Central Ward which comprises Queen’s Park, Crosshill, Govanhill, Laurieston, Gorbals and Oatlands.
A self-confessed SNP hack, she worked in SNP HQ between 1997-2007 before working as Nicola Surgeon’s constituency manager until 2016. In 2017 the SNP were elected to run Glasgow City Council and Mhairi was apply he’d City Convener for Health and Social Integration.
She is the organiser for Glasgow Southside SNP and was a local YES co-ordinator during the referendum.
Born and brought up in London, Mhairi first political involvement was joining the Anti-Nazi League when she was 13. Opposing Nazis remains a firm priority.
Mhairi is a carer for her elderly father, and also for her increasingly elderly dog, Charlie. She has very little spare time and what time she has she likes to waste on Twitter or binge-watching Netflix instead of doing housework or other useful activities.
Philip Richard (P. Ric., or “Prick”) Knobinson-Canute is a journalist best known for his weekly column, “Last Orders,” in the high end magazine, “Fox and Turf,” and also notorious for a feckless and chaotic career and life of alcohol abuse.
He became associated with the louche and bohemian atmosphere that existed in London’s Soho district, Glasgow’s Merchant City, and Milton Keynes, “Cock and Bull Bar,” the hang out for the new city’s literati, in the early seventies.
Early Life to Present:
Knobinson’s father, Lord Freire Knobinson-Canute was the hereditary Lord traditionally tasked to clear animal excrement from path the Monarch of the United Kingdom if they had to walk on public paths. This role was made largely symbolic in the late 20th century , though was more recently reinstated for Prince Philip’s 1998 visit to Liverpool. This reinstatement of the role (taken up by P. Ric’s older brother Arthur), led to the resignation of the Prince’s advisor for insensitivity after riots and Liverpool temporarily leaving the Commonwealth. This led to the famous Tony Blair brokered Liverpool Peace Deal on Ash Wednesday that year.
Knobinson’s mother was the Opera Singer, Dame Ethel Appleby, who famously said about the Beatles in the early sixties, “They are common Cockroaches for plebs.” Appleby left her husband in the late sixties, and joined the famous Andy Warhol led Operatic Society, “Quod Fabrication,” had an affair with Lou Reed, the singer with The Velvet Underground, and was found dead in Hotel Chelsea, New York, lobby after a session of snorting cognac with William Burroughs.
Knobinson attended Abbotts Chalmsley school for Boys in Chelmsford, for two and a half weeks, but the Principal ordered him onto a train back to London as he was, “Quite simply, uneducatable.” His mother home tutored him until he attended Cambridge, majoring in the Literature of Henry Miller, Anais Nin and William Wordsworth.
When he left University, he was given a job on The Times, through a contact of his Father’s. He reported mainly on Debutante events and Public School sporting events for around a year before, as he put it in one of his later columns for “Fox and Turf;”
“I discovered jazz, women, gin, hashish, vodka, wine, my penis and that my father had a huge stash of bonds lying around his study he didn’t even know were fucking there.”
He asked his editor if he could change the nature of his column to one of reporting on his Soho adventures. This was granted after money changed hands, according to his ex wife, the classic knitter, Estelle Lauder (an allegation he has always denied). Part of the alleged deal was that he use his Royal contacts to report on Royal events.
After his infamous interview with the estranged wife of Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales in which he caused her to cry and then slap him after he asked her why she “hated Britain,” he was sacked.
This led to him being hospitalised after what he described as,
“Six months of living in clubs, pubs and sleeping in the bedrooms, cars and wardrobes of rich and famous celebrity wives.”
Knobinson joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and then successfully sued them for a reportedly £1m for refusing him entrance to their groups after some of the meetings he was involved with transformed into riots.
Knobinson by chance, met Prince Philip, an old family friend, in a drinks reception at a polo match in Argentina (“I have no fucking recollection of how I managed to be in South America,” he wrote in 1992) who arranged a column in The Guadrion, which along with his “”Fox and Turf” columns formed the basis of a west end play based on his life, starring the TV actor Don Estelle in the leading role.
His new found fame earned him a late night TV chat show, “Jazz with Prick,” in which he interviewed famous jazz, pop, rock and blues artists over the course of a six hour drinking session. After three episodes, one in which he and the pop star Peter Andre drank seven bottles of champagne and a bottle of brandy, then drove a golf cart through a Tescos window to, “give access to the homeless” the TV company, “Shit-stir Productions,” went into liquidation.
Knobinson made a return to writing columns about the seedier side of life in the late nineties Lads Magazine, “Gonads,” while reporting on Royalty for Steve Wright in the Afternoon for Radio 2, then in 2008, The Sunday World.
He was absolved after accusations of phone tapping for the News of the World, when it was found that everything he wrote about Jeremy Clarkson, Prince Andrew and the Irish girl group B*witched was verifiable and in actual fact, had been videoed.
Knobinson has recently been employed by online magazine, Ungagged.